North Face Explore Fund 2015 Grants

North Face Grants

2015 Winners

The North Face recently announced the final winners of the 2015 Explore Fund $500,000 grants program funding 47 organizations throughout the U.S. The North Face Explore Fund chose projects that use outdoor exploration as the catalyst for positive, personal or societal change, provide experiences that nurture an appreciation of the outdoors or encourage participants to try new outdoor activities that allow outdoor exploration and adventure.

“We reviewed nearly 500 applications for Explore Fund grants this year and each of them were unique and powerful,” said Ann Krcik, senior director of Outdoor Exploration at The North Face. “The North Face employees and athletes reviewed top applications and final selections were extremely competitive. We were really humbled by all the incredible work inspiring the next generation of outdoor explorers.”

As part of its mission to start a global movement of Outdoor Exploration, The North Face introduced the Explore Fund ( in 2010 and the program has since provided more than $1.5 million in U.S. grants to more than 300 non-profit organizations committed to inspiring the next generation of outdoor explorers and conservationists.

One of the recipients for 2015 was Latino Outdoors, an organization focused on supporting outdoor leadership capacity-building opportunities for youth and young adults and connecting Latino communities and the outdoors.

“Our organization is in a stage of rapid growth and the grant comes at a momentous time – fortifying our commitment to inspire and enable the next generation of outdoor explorers,” said Graciela Cabello, national director of Latino Outdoors. “We feel humbled and commend The North Face Explore Fund for recognizing the strong need for such efforts in the Latino community, and plan to implement a statewide program that strengthens our leadership capacity, as well as our ability to lead more excursions.”

Among the 47 grant recipients:

  • Sierra Club Outdoors for Military Outdoors. “It is an honor for the Sierra Club’s Military Outdoors program to be recognized by The North Face as an integral part of the national movement to inspire and engage youth to explore the outdoors. The Explore Fund Grant will help our program move forward as we continue our efforts to connect military and veteran families with the great outdoors.” –Robert Vessels, Military Outdoors
  • South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) for their new Go Fourth program. “We are pleased to receive funding from North Face for this project,” said state park director Doug Hofer. “It is exciting to be part of the national effort to get children exploring the outdoors.”
  • American Hiking Society for its Alternative Break program, a college focused environmental stewardship program that connects youth to the outdoors through service, conservation, and fun. “We are thrilled that The North Face has recognized American Hiking Society’s Alternative Break program as part of the national movement to inspire and engage youth to explore the outdoors”, commented Gregory Miller, American Hiking Society’s President.
  • Appalachian Mountain Club of Boston, MA – Youth Opportunities Program Worcester Summit Site
  • Bike Works Seattle of Seattle, WA – Bicycle-Centered Youth Experiential Education
  • Canyonlands Field Institute of Moab, UT – Native Teen Guide in Training Program Expansion
  • Latino Outdoors of Capitola, CA – Creating New Pathways by Introducing Latino Youth to the Endless Possibilities of Nature, Parks and Outdoor Leadership
  • Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics of Boulder, CO – Leave No Trace “Nature Keeper” Program
  • National Sports Center for the Disabled of Denver, CO – Rock Climbing Academy for Youth with Disabilities
  • Natural Heritage Trust of Albany, NY – Connecting New York’s Foster Families with the Outdoors
  • National Park Trust to benefit NPT’s Buddy Bison School Program and Kids to Parks Day National School Contest
  • One Common Unity Fly By Light program
  • Outdoor Outreach for introducing San Diego teens to the outdoors
  • Bay Area Wilderness Training getting kids outdoors
  • Kansas Children’s Discovery Center getting kids outdoors
  • Girls on Ice  getting girls to step outside their comfort zone and onto a glacier

Getting Ready for the 2016 North Face Explore Fund Grant Program

Typcally The North Face will ask for applications between mid-March and mid-April.  At that time they will identify the themes associated with their grants for the year.

All grant proposals are evaluated on the clarity of proposal, the projected impact and alignment to the spirit of adventure and exploration. Proposals that leverage collaboration and partnerships within communities are encouraged. The Explore Fund reviews grants by individual merits and as part of a balanced portfolio that includes such factors as geography, type of program funded, target audiences, and more.

To be considered for an Explore Fund grant, applicants must be 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations or in a formal relationship with a qualified fiscal sponsor. All applicants must fully complete the online submission process and provide the required application information.  Explore Fund grants are for one year and funding in a giving cycle does not guarantee future support.

For more information about the Explore Fund, please visit

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